Email apps collect personal data from their users’ inbox and sell it to third parties for profit reports.
Free e-mail apps offered by Edison, Cleanfox and Slice earn money by scraping personal information from e-mails, obtained according to a JP Morgan document and reported by Motherboard.
In particular, transaction data in inboxes, including receipts and e-mails for sending, help external travel, financial and e-commerce companies to track user behavior.
Third parties can buy the data and use it to make better investment decisions, the report says.
Edison’s email app is among the top 100 productivity apps in the Apple App Store and has millions of users worldwide.
Some users of the popular Edison Mail app did not know that the company is deleting data from their inbox and reselling it for profit
“They can definitely be a little more candid about their commercial intentions,” said Seb Insua, an Edison user motherboard.
“Their website all looks like” No Ads “and” Privacy First. “
“I didn’t know they did,” said another Edison user.
“They’ve introduced new features that I really liked, such as package tracking, price tracking, and so on, but it makes sense why they developed it – if it was only to collect data about their users.”
In response to the claims, Edison said in one blog post: “Edison puts privacy first in everything we do as a company and that also means that our users are made aware of how we use their data in our products.
“To keep our Edison Mail app free and protect your privacy by refusing an advertising-based business model, our company measures Edison Software e-commerce using technology that automatically recognizes commercial e-mails and extracts anonymous purchase information from them . “
The company added that it allows users to refrain from sharing data.
The JP Morgan document says that Edison offers “consumer purchase statistics including brand loyalty, portfolio allocation, purchase preferences.”
The document adds that the ‘source’ of the data is the ‘Edison Email App’.
A report from the Wall Street Journal in 2018, it turned out that Edison employees read user emails to improve the app’s smart reply feature.
Edison says about it website that it can offer customers’ detailed behavioral patterns to improve your customers’ experience and business results’.
Edison says on his website that it can “provide detailed behavioral patterns to improve your customers’ experience and business results”
Meanwhile, Cleanfox, which removes free clutter from users’ inboxes, has customers such as PayPal and consulting firms Bain & Company and McKinsey & Company.
Foxintelligence, the parent company of Cleanfox, told Motherboard that selling user data is considered “transformational” for both companies and consumers.
“From a higher perspective, we believe that crowd sourcing transaction data has a transformational power for both consumers and businesses, and that a marketplace where value can be created for both parties without compromising on privacy is possible,” Florian Chief Operating Officer Florian Cleyet-Merle told motherboard.
Rakuten Slice, a startup for which the Slice app allows users to keep track of packages and price drops of store items, created a page on its website last month that allows users to choose to share data.
Slice, the free mobile and online app that is indispensable for smart online shoppers, is still working to meet the privacy standards set by the General Data Protection Regulation (AVG) in May 2018
Rakuten Slice is no longer available to residents of the EU since May 2018 due to the rules of the General Data Protection Regulation (AVG).
“Although we fully support and work diligently to meet all GDPR requirements, we have determined that we will not complete this effort by the start date of the regulation later this month,” is the app home page.
“For our customers in the EU or in the European Economic Area, the Slice team strives to re-introduce our service as quickly as possible, so keep an eye on us for updates.”
A spreadsheet with data from Slice obtained by Motherboard revealed purchased items, what they paid for and a unique identification number for each buyer.
Edison, Cleanfox and Slice have yet to respond to MailOnline’s request for comment on the report.
WHAT IS THE EU GENERAL PROTECTION REGULATION?
The General Data Protection Regulation (AVG) of the European Union is a new data protection law that entered into force on 25 May 2018.
It aims to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU).
This means that we have to determine how companies like Google and Facebook use and sell the data they collect about their users.
The law marks the largest revision of the privacy rules for personal data since the birth of the internet.
According to the AVG, companies are required to report data breaches within 72 hours and to enable customers to export and delete their data.
The General Data Protection Regulation (AVG) of the European Union is a new data protection law that entered into force on 25 May
Part of the extensive rights of data subjects as described in the AVG is the right for data subjects to obtain from the data controller whether or not personal data is processed about them, where and for what purpose.
Furthermore, the controller must provide a copy of the personal data in an electronic format free of charge.
This change is a dramatic shift to data transparency and empowerment of those involved.
Under the right to be forgotten, also known as Data erasure, they have the right to have the data manager erase their personal data, to stop further distribution of the data and possibly to stop the processing of the data by third parties.
The conditions for the deletion include the data that are no longer relevant for the original purposes for processing, or a data subject that withdraws its consent.
This right requires the controllers to compare the rights of the test subjects with ‘the public interest in the availability of the data’ when considering such requests.